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Welcome to the Den…
Seven years ago, Niklaus “Red” Volkov was offered an opportunity, one that would give him the ability to even the score with the Albanian mobsters that had tortured him for days and took the life of the only girl he’d loved.
But that gift came with strings…
Molded into the perfect soldier, Niklaus joined an elite group of mercenaries, loyal to a mysterious man known only as The Kingmaker. He willingly paid the price for means to fulfill the vendetta that plagued him each day.
Vengeance was all he knew…
And death was all he lived for…
Until it wasn’t…
“Good to see you again, Niklaus,” she said, keeping her voice low as she poured his cup. “You know, I’m starting to think you’re purposely seeking me out.”
That corner of his mouth drew up again, but she wouldn’t consider that a smile, not with the way he was looking at her. “I am, unless you mind.”
She hadn’t thought he would come right out and admit it. “No,” she said after catching her breath, her face flushed. “Not at all.”
Reagan was readying to walk away when he gestured to the seat opposite him. “You have a minute?”
“I—sure.” She didn’t think she could have walked away if she tried. “What’s up?”
“What are you doing after work?”
She swallowed, the sound loud even to her own ears. “I’m…uh…well, nothing. Just home, I guess.”
When had she turned into this stuttering mess? Like she had never talked to a guy before?
“Come home with me then.” He said that without blinking or stuttering, and making sure she understood just how serious he was.
Since they weren’t busy, she didn’t mind sitting with him, actually found that she enjoyed being in his presence, even if he didn’t reveal much. As the statement and the implications of it hung between them, she had no idea how to respond. She wasn’t even sure therewas a correct way to respond to that.
But after a second, she found her voice. “What are you asking for?”
The question was whispered, almost as though she was afraid that their conversation might be overheard. Before he could answer, as she was finally accepting what he had asked moments before, she knew, as any woman would, exactly what he wanted.
“One night,” he said, his gaze like a physical caress as it swept over her from head to toe and back again. “Or two.”
A flush of heat swept through her at the dark promise she saw in those blue eyes of his. No one had ever looked at her that way before, like she was utterly, and completely, desirable.
Like she was the only thing he wanted to taste…
While he slept, he didn’t look as defiant, as dangerous as he did when he was awake and able to use words to his advantage. She had seen him asleep before, if only briefly, and during that time, he had looked like the weight of the world was finally off his shoulders, and he could breathe again.
Now? Well, now he looked like that weight was back on and it was crushing him.
Without thinking, Reagan reached for him, smoothing her fingers over his shoulders, hoping to ease the tension that seemed to be bundled there, but her touch had just skipped over the scarred tattoo when he suddenly bolted up, grabbing hold of her wrists as he went.
In seconds she was underneath him in the bed, her hands gripped so tightly that even if she wanted to get free, she couldn’t.
“Niklaus,” she whispered, careful to keep her voice down with the frenzy she could see in his gaze. “It’s me.”
He didn’t let up, not immediately. Niklaus just looked down at her as if he didn’t recognize her, as though whatever he was seeing was meshing with the nightmare that had kept him under.
Blinking slowly, the fog seemed to clear, and he gradually released his hold on her, but didn’t move off her. Not yet.
“It’s fine. You didn’t really hurt me.” But she didn’t try and touch his scar again.
Gradually, he sat up, rubbing at his eyes as he sighed heavily. All too quickly he went from one extreme to a look of sadness that made her ache for him.
What did he dream about that put that expression on his face?
They didn’t ask a lot of personal questions when they were together, though she had learned a few more things about him this time around as opposed to the last.
But this…this she hoped he would share, if only so she could ease that storm she saw behind his eyes.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
He didn’t respond for at least a minute, but he turned back towards her, the emotions she had seen replaced with darker ones. At least she was more familiar with the way he was looking at her now.
“Help me forget,” he said as he pushed off the headboard, pulling her into him.
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About The Author
With a degree in Creative Writing, London Miller has turned pen to paper, creating riveting fictional worlds where the bad guys are sometimes the good guys. Her debut novel, In the Beginning, is the first in theVolkov Bratva Series. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two puppies, where she drinks far too much Sprite, and spends her nights writing.
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